Policy ForumScience Policy

From “Science in Europe” to “European Science”

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Science  25 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6084, pp. 982-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216878

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According to proposals of the European Commission (EC) for Horizon 2020 (1), the next Framework Programme (FP) for Research and Innovation will direct resources to three priorities: (i) excellence in Europe's science base; (ii) industrial leadership; and (iii) societal challenges. We examine the agenda for improving Europe's science base and discuss changes in the policy system, with a focus on the European Research Council (ERC). Describing the European-level policy system through its statement of added value and rationale, target of intervention, and science support organizations, we argue that it is transitioning from a period we term “science in Europe,” to a period we refer to as “European science.” Although we argue this transition in terms of clear differences, we acknowledge that, in reality, the process is gradual, nuanced, and far from complete.